CSA members/family/friends, as well as family/friends of our farm crew are invited out to the farm to pick extra basil - no charge. There are also
pretty flowers to pick. Call me to schedule - Mike 781 710-6749
Your share contains enough basil for you to make Pesto. This versatile spread is good on just about anything - raw chopped veggies, sandwiches, bagels, burgers, chicken, fish, pasta, ect. Fresh tomatoes slices, or some type of red sauce are very nice compliments to pesto. A sample recipe is described below. You can always vary the proportions, and add or subtract ingredients as you prefer. For example, some folks add parsley or arugula. Nutritional yeast is a good substitute for cheese.
Basic Pesto Recipe: (ingredient ratios by weight)
3 parts Basil
2 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
1 parts Nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, or cashews , or any combination of them)
1 part Cheese (usually parmesan and/or romano) Using fresh cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano is better than dry cheeses like the parmesan in the green cardboard cylinders).
1/2 to 1 part fresh garlic
salt to taste
Throwing everything in a food processor works fine. Or, for traditional Italian pesto , chop up the basil and garlic (chopped fine), add oil, crushed nuts (by hand- mortar and pestle style) and shredded fresh cheese. Butter is also used in some old fashioned recipes.
Be sure to get the oil onto the basil quickly to prevent it from turning brown. Shelf life decreases if the basi/pesto gets warm I start with cold ingredients, mix it all up, and get it in the refrigerator/freezer quickly. Its a good idea to cover it by putting it in a bag or a tupperware type container with lid.
If you do not intend to use it all within a week or so, you should freeze it. Some folks fill up ice cube trays so they have convenient portions whenever they want them. Cover the tray with saran wrap or a put in a plastic bag to prevent the top from turning brown. I like to just freeze a block of it, then take it out and chop off a chunk. It thaws quickly at room temperature.